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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 8, 1998 - Samoa News)--A marijuana drug smuggling operation between the two Samoas, using the Pago Pago International Airport as one of its points of entry, may have been shutdown by the Customs Division Tuesday night.

Chief Customs Officer Galu Satele believes that the smuggling operation, which involves concealing marijuana in parcels assumed to be personal mail sent via commercial airliner, is "just one of the many scams in operation between here and Apia."

An airline employee was taken in for questioning by police authorities late Tuesday night after Customs authorities at the airport confiscated a parcel containing eight sandwich bags filled with dried marijuana leaves with a street value of between $1,500 to $2,000.

Customs officials, together with local authorities, are working closely with the Samoa government in a collaborative attack on the transporting of marijuana.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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